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Old 09-03-2013, 09:18 AM   #1
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Help with starting new SW tank

Ok so I decided to turn my freshwater 20g into a SW tank.
What are the main things I need?
What is the best light for growing lower light corals? (if there is such corals)
And do I need to change my filter? (its a marineland HOB)
Overall I have almost no clue how to start a SW tank. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:43 AM   #2
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First off. Spend about two weeks researching here. You need to start with live rock and sand (if you want sand) RODI water, salt, and you would have enough to start cycling.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristy3693 View Post
First off. Spend about two weeks researching here. You need to start with live rock and sand (if you want sand) RODI water, salt, and you would have enough to start cycling.
Ok. Is sand necessary and does it speed up the cycle or anything?
How much salt is needed for a 20g? Is my filter ok?
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:59 AM   #4
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Sand is not necessary, but it does offer more filtration and most like the look, some fish and shrimp have to have it.
If you can buy your saltwater premixed at the LFS, I would do that to start. I did that when I first started, after that I bought a bucket that made 50 gallons and a RODI unit. My salt was like $25 I think, and RODI was$120 from bulkreefsupply.com
(now I buy giant amounts of salt since I have a 35 gal and 120 gal.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristy3693 View Post
Sand is not necessary, but it does offer more filtration and most like the look.
Ok. How much salt do I need for a 20g?
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:30 PM   #6
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Reef salt calls for 1/2 cup of salt per U.S gallon of water. That's a recommended starting point. I have found I needed to add a little more but add 1/2 cup per gallon to start with. You have a hydrometer ( salinity) tester?
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Reef salt calls for 1/2 cup of salt per U.S gallon of water. That's a recommended starting point. I have found I needed to add a little more but add 1/2 cup per gallon to start with. You have a hydrometer ( salinity) tester?
Ok. Ill do that then. And no not yet but I will be getting one if a I start a SW tank.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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I would just go and buy a 5g bucket of salt. It will last you quite a while.

Necessary equipment:
Tank
Heater
Thermometer
Powerheads
Light
Salt
Hydrometer / Refractometer
Test Kits
Salt mixing vessel

Highly Recommended equipment:
Refugium
Protein Skimmer
RO/DI unit

After that the list goes on and on for possible equipment additions to your tank. As for the light, I would suggest going with a chinese 120w LED since a regular light fixture that will allow you to grow low light corals will cost $100ish and the 120w LED can be bought for about the same price. The 120w will let you grow anything so you won't have to waste money upgrading if you decide you want to grow different corals.

New Dimmable 120W Aquarium Coral Reef Fish Tank White Blue LED Light Black US | eBay
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mebbid View Post
I would just go and buy a 5g bucket of salt. It will last you quite a while.

Necessary equipment:
Tank
Heater
Thermometer
Powerheads
Light
Salt
Hydrometer / Refractometer
Test Kits
Salt mixing vessel

Highly Recommended equipment:
Refugium
Protein Skimmer
RO/DI unit

After that the list goes on and on for possible equipment additions to your tank. As for the light, I would suggest going with a chinese 120w LED since a regular light fixture that will allow you to grow low light corals will cost $100ish and the 120w LED can be bought for about the same price. The 120w will let you grow anything so you won't have to waste money upgrading if you decide you want to grow different corals.

New Dimmable 120W Aquarium Coral Reef Fish Tank White Blue LED Light Black US | eBay
Ok thanks! How long will that much salt last? And I have a friend who wants to start a SW tank too and he wants to order 50 gallons of salt. Thats way too much right?
And can you send me the link to the light? Is there a specific name for it?
Also what are some examples of low light corals?
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishCr8zy View Post
Ok thanks! How long will that much salt last? And I have a friend who wants to start a SW tank too and he wants to order 50 gallons of salt. Thats way too much right?
And can you send me the link to the light? Is there a specific name for it?
Also what are some examples of low light corals?
Well, a 5 gallon bucket of salt will make approx. 160 gallons of water. If you do a 20 gallon tank with a 10 gallon sump it should last for most of a year if all you do is 10% water changes. This isn't a common thing though and I would count on it lasting at least 5 - 6 months.

I linked the light in my last post. It's the same one a ton of people on this forum use and they all have great success with it. Here it is again.
New Dimmable 120W Aquarium Coral Reef Fish Tank White Blue LED Light Black US | eBay

Mushrooms and Zoanthids would be your best bet for "low light corals" I wouldn't attempt them with anything less than a dual t5ho light.
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